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The White Stork is a large migrating bird native to Europe and the middle east in the summer and subsaharan Africa and India in the winter. They're around one meter tall and have a wingspan of two meters. Their plumage is mostly white except for the black wings. Their beak and legs are red. Originally they nested in tree and on rocks but with increased human presence they usually build them on chimneys, towers, rooftops or nest platforms specifically made for conservation purposes. Their diet consists of insects, worms, small mammals like mice, voles and moles, frogs, reptiles, fish, molluscs and young birds.
White Storks often form small nesting colonies. They're seen as a sign of good luck so they will not be removed. The nests will be reused year after year and each time more nesting material is added so a large nest is seen as successful. If a stork fails to raise their young the nest will be abandoned next year. They're seasonally monogamous but do not mate for life. They usually lay four eggs which are incubated as soon as the first is laid so the offspring hatches at different times instead of simultaneously. Though this usually means a competitive advantage for the oldest chick, they do not attack each other and they're fed directly by their parents so the youngest will not starve to death because of the oldest taking all its food away. In times of food shortages, the parents may kill the weakest to assure the survival of at least one chick.
White Storks are one of the most studied migrating birds. Originally, people believed they changed form and became mice or other birds or simply hibernated. Only when injured individuals with African arrows stuck in them were found back in Europe and juveniles were ringed to track their movements did people understand their migratory nature. One of these rare so-called Pfeilstörche was found in modern Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in 1822, stuffed and is now on display in the University of Rostock. The birds begin heading southwards in August and September. They congregate in large flocks and head back to Europe in March. They avoid the Mediterranean Sea by either going west over Iberia and the Strait of Gibraltar or eastward via the Bosporus.
White Storks are seen as a positive sign in most cultures they came into contact with. Their large size, preying on vermin and their nests close to humans or even on rooftops made them ideal symbols of protection. The hebrew word for white stork means "merciful" or "kind". Both ancient Greece and Rome saw them as devoted parents and many myths formed surrounding them. Islam reveres them as the birds migrate via their holy site Mecca annually. Their nests were said to protect against fires in Germany and they appear to be especially beloved in west and east Slavic cultures where they're said to bring harmony to families on whose property they nest. They're the national birds of Ukraine, Poland, Belarus and Lithuania. The common belief that storks deliver babies may derive from their large size and high flight altitude, being seen as a connection between earth and the heavens, where they take unborn souls back in the spring.
Kemono Friends' White Stork has not been featured in any media yet today. She has long white hair with large headwings and a light blue and black hair clip representing the eyes above the red sidebangs representing the beak. She has light blue eyes. She wears a white suit with a black short skirt. She has a white scarf and white pantyhose that becomes red from above the knee downwards as well as reddish brown shoes. Additionally she carries a white bag with the Kemono Friends logo.